Tyler Bittner is a senior 

Rocky Point High School


Roosevelt Senior Seeks Out a Genre

By Tyler Bittner

The Greene Team


Chamise Thompson has given some thought to the idea of diversity.

 "Not everyone has to be the same,” said Thompson, a senior at Roosevelt High School in Roosevelt, New York. “We can have diversity and still be equal."

Thompson, 17, was recently selected to be an inaugural member of the Robert W. Greene High School Journalism Institute, a 10-day summer program at Stony Brook University designed to develop "the next generation of journalists."

Thompson has been writing for years, mostly in her “own genre,” which she describes as “realistic fiction; things that can happen but usually don’t. She participates in reading and writing programs at Hofstra University in Garden City, but the Stony Brook program is her first foray into the world of journalism.

She said she was unaware her high school had a newspaper until it published one of her poems: "Usted son especiales de estas maneras" ("You are special in these ways") late last year. Thompson said the inspiration came to her during her chemistry class when she heard one of her friends laughing and realized how identifiable it was. The surprise came later that month when she saw her work in print.

“I was like. ‘Why is my poem in the paper?’ ” Thompson said.

Thompson heard about the Robert W. Greene Institute through her 10th grade English teacher, with whom she is very close. 

Chamise Thompson and Shirley Capron, both students at Roosevelt High School and members of the Greene Team, get comfortable at the anchor desk at News12 studios in Woodbury.

For her application, Thompson sent an essay she wrote for her English class comparing the utopias of Ayn Rand and Sir Thomas More.  

While Thompson may not have as much practical experience as the other incoming members of the institute, she makes up for it with raw enthusiasm. “I have a passion for writing,” she said, adding that she is excited and willing to learn. “I want to learn from the best,” she said. “I don't think I'm that strong a writer right now.”

Thompson hopes to apply what she learns this summer to her studies at college and eventually to what she hopes will be a career in journalism. What field of journalism however, is still up in the air.

"Politics I hate," Thompson said. "Blogging is not for me." She also has doubts about broadcast journalism. "I hate being in front of a camera. It scares me." But she adds "I'd rather be behind one."

As her favorite authors and inspirations, Thompson cites Mildred B. Taylor, author of "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” and Richard Wright, author of "Black Boy,” - two novelists who wrote primarily about race relations in the American South in the early 1900s.

However, Thompson said she thinks her future lies in entertainment. While she said she doesn’t read newspapers regularly, she frequently reads magazines such as “Ebony,” and “OK!”

Ultimately she is undecided about what her future holds. “I haven’t made up my own mind yet,” Thompson said.

But regardless of what genre Thompson works in, she said she knows precisely what kind of articles she wants to write: “true ones.”

I want people to like reading my articles,” Thompson said. “I don't want them to be sad or boring.”




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